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HD-resolution GMSL camera kit available in USB and Jetson TX2 models

Jul 27, 2018 — by Eric Brown 3,459 views

E-con has released a four-board, 3.4MP “NileCAM30” camera system claimed to be the world’s fastest GMSL camera. Its available in either a USB 3.1 interface or a MIPI-CSI connection for linking to a Jetson TX2 module.

E-con Systems has launched a four-board, fixed-focus 3.4-megapixel camera system with up to HD video resolution at 60fps and and GMSL technology for 80ms latency over a 15-meter cable. The NileCAM30 is available in two similar models: a NileCAM30_TX2 model that’s designed to plug into a Linux-powered, hexa-core Nvidia Jetson TX2 module by way of the Jetson TX2 Developer Kit and a NileCAM30_USB model with a USB interface that can work with any Linux- or Windows-driven, USB-enabled computer. The TX2 model also supports the earlier Jetson TX1.

NileCAM30_TX2 (left) and NileCAM30_USB
(click images to enlarge)

The NileCAM30 systems uses SERDES derived GMSL technology for supporting bi-directional data, power, and control through a single cable at up to 15 meters without losing latency. Such GSML cameras are well suited for autonomous vehicles, inspection cameras, street lighting cameras, and robotics, says E-con. The video shown farther below demonstrates the NileCAM30_USB model’s low 80ms “glass-to-glass latency” — the time it takes for an image to go from the glass of the camera to the glass of the display.

The single-camera NileCAM30 is a lower resolution device than E-con’s recently announced e-CAM120_TRICUTX2 kit with three 4K@30 cameras, which is similarly designed to work with Nvidia’s Jetson TX2 Developer Kit. The NileCAM30 uses the same 1/3″ optical format AR0330 CMOS image sensor from ON Semiconductor that it used in its earlier e-CAM30_HEXCUTX2 kit with 6x HD cameras. Like both of these multi-camera kits, the NileCAM30 has an S-mount (M12) lens holder, which enables a wide choice of lenses.

NileCAM30_TX2 with Jetson TX2 Developer Kit (left) and NileCAM30_USB detail view
(click images to enlarge)

Both NileCAM30 models supply a 15-meter coaxial cable with FAKRA connectors at both ends of the Serializer and Deserializer boards. The TX2 version also comes with an otherwise identical 3-meter cable. The NileCAM30_USB has a micro-USB 3.1 Gen 1 interface while the NileCAM30_TX2 uses a 4-lane MIPI-CSI connection.


Common features include 2 V/lux-sec responsivity, 38 dB SNR, and 69.5 dB dynamic range. There’s an electronic rolling shutter and a 125° DFOV. The four boards each measure 30 x 30mm except for the larger TX2 interface board found on the TX2 version. Both models support -30 to 55°C temperatures, and customization services are available.

The NileCAM30 systems both output in uncompressed UYVY format, and the USB model can also output in compressed MJPEG. A variety of resolution/frame rate combos are available ranging from VGA or HD at 60fps to 2304 x 1536 at 24fp (or 48fps with the USB model using MJPEG).

(click image to enlarge)

The NileCAM30_USB ships with QtCAM (Linux) and e-CAMView (Windows) for preview and still capture. The NileCAM30_TX2 includes a V4L2 Linux driver for MIPI-CSI-2 and supports Gstreamer 1.0. The 256-core Pascal GPU on the Jetson TX2 module’s SoC offers access to CUDA libraries for image recognition and machine learning applications.

NileCAM30 glass-to-glass latency demo on YouTube

Further information

The NileCAM30_TX2 is available for $379 and the NileCAM30_USB is available for $399. After Aug. 8, these discounted prices each rise by $50. More information may be found at E-con Systems’ NileCAM30_TX2 and NileCAM30_USB product and shopping pages.

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